Last night husband, Hat and I visited a Fortune Teller. You’d be astonished at what you find in an Outpost. And no it wasn’t the kind of Fortune Teller who – because he/she is pissed or because you’ve cut in front of him/her in the traffic – flicks you a V sign and offers to “tell you your effin fortune”. This was a proper job.
Husband went in first and emerged ten minutes later, smiling. She’s good, he said, very good. Husband is a cynic so this was hard to believe. He was clutching a fortune cookie (which looked a bit like a burned shortbread biscuit) and a note, which he told me he wasn’t allowed to read until he’d eaten his cookie.
I went next and the moment I stepped inside the fortune teller’s den, all pink lighting, candles and draped scarves, I was overcome by the giggles.
The fortune teller looked at me sternly and told me that fortune telling was no laughing matter. I stopped giggling and promised to conduct myself with more decorum. With that she introduced herself. She was called Madame Marcia, she said solemnly, as she sat perched crosslegged on a cushion with a rather floppy turban on her head, one end of which kept falling over her left eye.
She indicated that I should take a seat on a cushion opposite her. Between us, on a small stool decorated with stones and flowers was a huge crystal ball covered with tiny stars which I was so taken with I couldn’t resist touching. Madame M reprimanded me. That was hers, she said, to do a job with, not some toy for me to be fiddling about with. Please don’t touch, she said crossly.
I stopped and, feeling rather ashamed, put my hands in my lap.
Madame M was quite vague about my future as she carefully twisted her enormous football proportioned crystal ball. So I did wonder a little about her ability to actually tell fortunes.
As our session drew to a close I asked if I could take her picture, for my blog, I said.
Oh yes, she sais, I heard you write one of those. Ok, she conceded, though I don’t normally let people take my photograph.
I whipped out my camera as she posed and when I was done she pressed a fortune cookie (looking not unlike rather burned shortbread biscuit my husband had exited with) into my hand, urging me not to read the message until I’d eaten my cookie. I thanked her and promised to do as I was told.
Not long after I’d emerged, Hat (whom I hadn’t noticed go in) came bouncing out armed with a cookie and a note and shrieking delightedly, ”wasn’t she good, Mum, wasn’t she good?”
No, of course there aren’t any fortune tellers in the Outpost. Not the kind that wear huge floppy lilac turbans and stare into crystal balls at any rate. And no, I haven’t gone nuts (yet) nor been at the Waccy Baccy or had one glass too many.
When school is over, Hat usually disappers off to entertain herself whilst I pretend to be a writer. She plays in the doll’s house or reads curled up with a cat on her lap or she cooks. Yesterday afternoon, unbeknown to me, she baked something resembling burned shortbread and kept creeping into our little school room to pinch glue and beads and stickers. And then, when her dad got home after work, she invited him into her bedroom by hollering at him – unseen -from the door.
He emerged smiling.
And then I was invited in. I opened Hat’s bedroom door to find it awash with pink light, candles flickering on every surface, the floor covered with rugs and cushions and scarves draped everywhere. Hat herself, dressed in an Indian tunic sourced in the market with a lilac scarf on her head masquerading as a turban, was sitting with a serious expression on her face infront of a small stool on top of which were balanced two huge pyrex bowls, to form a big glass ball.
Husband’s fortune cookie revealed ”A great suprise is going to happen and you’ll be happy when it does”.
Hat’s, perhaps not suprsingly given her special and very personal relationship with Madame Marcia, promised ”Wealth and Fame will come to you and take you by suprise”.
Mine said, simply, ”You’re going to have a happy time with friends”.
Perhaps Madame M’s talent was better honed than I’d given her credit for: we’re off tomorrow to spend the weekend with Hat’s siblings and to catch up with some mates.